A great vision needs to be about the future but it will fail if it is not firmly rooted in the present. You may wish to change a group but you can’t ignore its history, culture and organization. Most of all you need to make sure there is a connection to its values.
This is where those who are new to the organization sometimes come adrift when leading and managing change. Even if you are trying to move existing values on, you cannot totally ignore them in your vision for the future. Somehow in your change, those in the existing organization need to feel that their present values are being honoured.
Your vision needs to have roots but it needs to be future focussed and challenging – it needs to reflect and set high standards, and high ideals. Make your vision something that people will want to live up to. That means it will keep chins high when you hit the difficult patches!
Your vision should inspire – you want it to raise enthusiasm and commitment. It is much more likely to do that if it touches the needs and aspirations of all those who have a stake in it. This includes not only those inside the organization but also clients, customers, users and, if possible, your suppliers.
Make sure your vision can be understood – communicate it well. Make it clear and unambiguous! Paint pictures when you talk about it that people can take away and imagine for themselves. Make this a future they can see in their minds and want to be a part of.
Make your vision unique and distinctive – not to be confused with where we said we were going five years ago. This must be special.
Above all make your vision ambitious! Make sure that people can see that real progress will have been made when your vision is achieved. This should be a vision that expands everyone’s horizons.
So to sum up your vision needs to be
- Appropriate to your history, culture and values
- Challenging with high standards and high ideals
- Aspirational – reflecting the aspirations of all those with an interest
I’d love to hear you experience of working with visions – what has worked for you and what has not worked?
- Leading Change – Your Vision in an Uncertain Future – Scenario Planning (wisewolftalking.com)
- Leading Change – deciding who leads! (wisewolftalking.com)
- Leading Change – Creating a Powerful Guiding Coalition (wisewolftalking.com)
Wendy Mason works as a personal and business coach, consultant and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring ++44(0)7867681439